One of the best things about MAP-21, the surface transportation law that President Obama signed earlier this year, is what it does for public transportation. Transit
advocates should be cheered that MAP-21 declares: "It is in the interest
of the United States, including the economic interest of the United
States, to foster the development and revitalization of public
To support that interest, the new law provides a big boost to the Federal Transit Administration's "State Of Good Repair" program. FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff and I have spent a considerable amount of time in communities across the United States, and we've seen first-hand how important it is to reinvest in transit.
So our commitment to bringing transit systems into a state of good repair across the nation really grows out of our awareness of how great the need is.
And because MAP-21 provides $2.1 billion for State of Good Repair funding and
$420 million in FTA's Bus and Bus Facilities formula program, we'll
have a greater ability to help transit agencies keep their systems in the kind of condition
MAP-21 also requires FTA to establish State of Good Repair performance measures and asks transit agencies to develop asset management plans to meet these standards. This will ensure that America’s public transportation is in good working order, whether you’re riding a bus in Portland, Maine, or a streetcar in Portland, Oregon.
In addition, for the first time, MAP-21 allows major transit agencies access to capital investment grants for projects that expand their core capacity. These grants were once limited to starting new projects, but can now be used to extend or expand existing lines. That will be a big help to cities that want to add capacity to long-established transit services.
Finally, MAP-21 gives the FTA oversight authority for transit safety. Since 2009, this Administration has been pressing Congress to help us ensure that transit systems nationwide operate under a consistent set of safety standards. FTA will now be able to establish and enforce basic safety standards to better ensure the safety of tens of millions of passengers that ride public transportation each day.
So, from the East Coast to the West, transit passengers should ride with greater confidence knowing how committed DOT is to maintaining and improving our nation's transit systems.